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Writing about small moments vs. big moments is an activity I did with my class to work on descriptive writing. I described big moments as a cloud – a general topic. Then I gave them examples of small moments that happen inside big moments, such as wrapping up the gift for a birthday party or getting pizza at an amusement park. I read to them examples of really describing each individual thing or “scene,” that happens in their story rather than just laying out fact by fact.
Then I showed them the three big clouds that have the big moments I listed. I laminated these and stuck them on the board. I gave each student a “rain drop,” and told them to pick one of the big moments they want from the board. They had to choose one thing that happened or they did in that big moment and describe it in detail – use their senses and show me a “picture,” in my mind. Then students got to come up to the board and stick their raindrop under their big cloud moment.
As their follow-up, they each got a graphic organizer where now they had to choose four small moments in their one big moment. After they brainstormed four things they could really describe happening, they wrote their rough draft and then their final copy on the paper provided in this file.
You can make them write a rough draft by checking it after they write about each raindrop. Once that small moment is good to go, they can move on to their next raindrop. This is also a great way to show them where to make paragraphs.